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From Peter’s first letter we read,
- “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials.” (I Peter 1:3-6 – NASB)
The believers that Peter was writing to were facing “various trials.” They were being persecuted for their faith in Christ.
A letter exists that dates to this period of time when Peter wrote his letter. It is a letter from Pliny, governor of Bithynia, to the Roman emperor Trajan. The letter is believed to have been written somewhere around 112 A. D. In its content Pliny informed Trajan that he was executing people who confessed to be Christians. Trajan’s reply approved and further instructed Pliny to set free those people who would renounce their Christian faith and worship Caesar and Rome’s gods.
The Holy Spirit, no doubt, knew of this terrible persecution of the saints and such moved Peter along to write his epistle. Peter’s letter is one meant to instruct and edify Christians during the “various trials” that they were experiencing.
To his fellow believers Peter assures them that they have “an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away,” and that it is “reserved for (them) in heaven.” He goes on to tell them that, in the midst of their “various trials,” they “are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation to be revealed in the last time.” So, do not be un-nerved by your present conditions.
Instead, “in this you greatly rejoice.” You might suffer “for a little while,” being “distressed by various trials,” but know, Peter writes, that God “has caused you to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” The Lord has risen! In “various trials” you need to recall these things to mind. When you do, “in this you (will) greatly rejoice.”
And so it is for us brethren, so it is for us. Persecutions will come when we live godly in Christ,
- “And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (II Timothy 3:12 – NASB)
As we live as Christians, as believers, ” our desire being to live godly in Christ Jesus,” our “faith” can hold us up when we are “persecuted.” Our knowledge of God’s words to us affirm that we have a “living hope” of “an inheritance,” that cannot possibly “fade away.” And brethren, it is the very culmination of our “salvation,” and it is “reserved in heaven for” us.
So no matter what the world throws our way, strive to “live godly,” and when (not if) “various trials” come, recall to mind the wonderful assurances of God’s Word . . . and “in this you greatly rejoice.”
Have a good day brethren . . . and walk godly and face the persecutions and trials associated with such a walk by rejoicing in what our Lord has done, is doing, and is going to do.
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